African publishing conference set for Nairobi this weekend

News - International Thursday, 13 June 2019

Over 200 publishers from across Africa at second publishing seminar for the continent, following inaugural meeting in Lagos last year

Publishers, policy makers and industry partners from across the African continent and beyond will gather in Nairobi (pictured) on 14 and 15 June, with over 200 delegates from 40 countries expected. The event in the Kenyan capital has been put together by the International Publishers Association, and its member, the Kenya Publishers Association

Highlights of the seminar will include keynote speeches from Kenyan author, Professor Ngu~g wa Thiong’o, and winner of the 2019 Global Teacher Prize, Peter Tabichi as well as the presentation of the Lagos Action Plan that followed the IPA’s inaugural Africa Seminar in Lagos in 2018.

A late addition to the line-up is Gill Moodie of South Africa’s NB Publishers, the Prix Voltaire shortlisted publisher that recently received the Association of American Publisher’s International Freedom to Publish Prize. She will join a session on self-censorship alongside the President of Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission, and a Prix Voltaire recipient, Sihem Bensedrine.

Alongside discussions with groundbreaking African startups like Publisher, on the digital transformation, there will be sessions on promoting indigenous languages, creating the readers of the future and how to bring best international best practice to statistics gathering to inform policy making.

Public policy issues such education and copyright will also be under discussion with key decision makers such as Dr Julius Jwan of the Kenwa Institute of Curriculum Development and Sylvie Forbin, deputy director general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

The IPA will also be announcing partnerships with partners in Africa and developing the previously announced Memorandum of Understanding with Dubai Cares as well as focusing on women in the African publishing industry through the second ever PublisHers event featuring some of Africa’s leading female voices in publishing.

Hugo Setzer, IPA president, said: "IPA is so excited to be here in Nairobi and to further strengthen our relationships and support for our members here in Africa. Last year’s inaugural IPA Africa seminar in Lagos laid the foundations. This year’s seminar will see us starting to build."

Lawrence Njagi, chairman of the Kenya Publishers Association, added:"Kenya is extremely lucky to play host to the International Publishers Association’s (IPA) Africa Seminar Series.

"This two-day seminar (Friday June 14 and Saturday June 15) brings together publishing professionals, educationists, creatives and writers from around the globe with the sole aim of discussing and mapping out ways in which the African publishing sector can take up its rightful role in shaping the future of the continent.

"The topic of publishing in indigenous languages will also take centre stage during the debates. Africans can only hope to move to the next level by rejuvenating their languages and reviving dying ones. This can only be made possible publishing those languages."

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